USA Gymnastics released the list of gymnasts competing at the upcoming U.S. Classic, and much to everyone’s surprise, Simone Biles appeared on this list. Biles is a seven-time Olympic medalist and a 25-time World Championships medalist, and she is considered the greatest gymnast of all time.
The last time she competed was two years ago at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but she withdrew from most of the competition for mental health reasons. She was dealing with “the twisties” which is when a gymnast loses spatial awareness in the air. Biles' withdrawal from the Olympics helped open up a conversation about the importance of mental health in sports.
After the Olympic Games, Biles headlined her own post-Olympic tour across the United States. In 2022, she became the youngest person to ever receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She also recently got married to NFL player Jonathan Owens. During her time away from competition, she continued to be an advocate for mental health.
Fans have been speculating since Tokyo whether Biles would return to competition. As recently as this January, Biles stated that it was “up in the air” whether or not she would compete again. However, Alicia Sacramone Quinn's husband revealed on his podcast that Biles was training again. She has even been spotted in social media posts training at the gym her parents own. The announcement from USA Gymnastics is the first official confirmation that Biles will compete again, and she is planning on returning at the U.S. Classic.
The U.S. Classic is an annual gymnastics competition that serves as the final qualifier for the national championships. Even if gymnasts have already qualified for nationals, they can still compete, and this event is often used to try out new skills and routines. This year’s U.S. Classic will take place on August 5 at NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Along with Simone Biles, other notable gymnasts competing include Sunisa Lee, Jade Carey, and Jordan Chiles.